Everyday Enviro with Elise - Continuing the festive spirit
Author: Elise Catterall
So, you got new sheets for Christmas (or a new hairdryer, new computer etc), or maybe you were given something that you don’t really like, want, or need. There is nothing more in keeping with the Christmas spirit than choosing to donate your old or unwanted items so that you can keep on giving, and like recycling, you are still extending the life of an item and diverting it from landfill.
Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You directory gives you lots of information about finding new homes for old items, but consider the following options for donating to worthy causes:
Clothing and accessories
Fitted for Work accepts donations of both casual and dress clothing and accessories. These are sold through The Conscious Closet with all proceeds supporting the programs and services of Fitted for Work. Dress For Success accepts women's work attire, they support disadvantaged women to get back into the workplace.
Dress for Work accepts donations of men’s business attire (shirts, ties, suits, etc), to enable them to attend job interviews and other appointments.
Women’s refuges accept a range of women’s clothing and accessories – from shoes to bags, bras to dresses. They also are grateful for unopened toiletries and cosmetics, bed linen, towels, crockery, kitchen appliances, suitcases, furniture, stationery, and non-perishable food and many more items.
Old glasses and sunglasses can be donated for people in need overseas via Lions Australia Recycle For Site with drop offs at participating opticians.
Old bras and swimmers and new underpants can be donated to Women’s refuges or to Project Uplift.
You can donate old unsaleable clothing to H&M and/or Zara. H&M and Zara facilities straddle the donate/recycle line because they will determine where the items go based on their condition. They may be donated to charities or they may be recycled into other clothing or used as industrial materials.
Old socks can go to Manrags.
Animal Welfare League. The league relies on the support of the community to help care for their animals. Towels and blankets are at the top of their wish list, but there are many other items they accept and would be so grateful for. See their wishlist here
Also see the info about women’s refuges above which gratefully accept bed linens and towels.
Sheridan offer instore drop-off for old towels and linen for recycling of any brand. No pillows or doonas are accepted.
Furniture & Appliances
Many charities accept appliances – from The Bower, to The Refugee Council, to local Tool Libraries, to your local Salvation Army or St Vincent de Paul Society, or various refuges as detailed above. You can also list items on your local Pay-It-Forward group on Facebook.
Most of the same charities that accept appliances (above) are grateful for good quality, pre-loved furniture. But, [please check what they will accept first not all will take electrical items and may need to assess what you have.
For working items the Give Now website, Givit website and The Refugee Council list agencies looking for used technology (among other items), including desktop and laptop computers, tables, old mobile phones, to be used by those in need. Many homeless shelters and refuges are also grateful for old mobile phones.
To recycle broken electronics visit recyclingnearyou.com.au, please don't put them in your kerbside recycling bin.
Second Chance Toys accept donations of used toys in good condition (preferably plastic) to be donated to disadvantaged kids. Most charity run op shops like the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul Society or Red Cross accept toys and games to be resold, and many women’s refuges gratefully accept usable toys for the kids in their care.
The Footpath Library delivers donated books to the homeless and others without access to reading materials. Street Libraries, as well as refuges and op shops, are other good options for donation.
Reuse is always better than recycling, and as you can see, there are willing and needy recipients of almost everything you can think of, so it is easy to keep the Christmas spirit alive even when Christmas is over. You can keep giving all year round.
See you next time! - Elise
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
Author: Elise CatterallElise is a writer, photographer, and naturopath with a passion for nature. She completed a Master of Public Health in 2017 through the University of Sydney. Her photographic work focuses on flowers and plants as a way of celebrating nature. She has been writing for Planet Ark since 2017, sharing positive environment stories, personal environmental experiences and perspectives.
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